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Esquel Group: Fostering a Culture of Excellence

HBP Product : ST76
Case Author : Prof Suri GURUMURTHI and Prof Ronald LAU
PublicAction Date : 21.02.2019


The Esquel, one of the world’s largest cotton-based textile and apparel manufacturing companies, produces shirts for from scratch through a vertically integrated supply chain for many major brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Nike, and department stores around the world. Its leadership, comprising Chairman Marjorie Yang, Vice Chairman Teresa Yang, and CEO John Cheh, had made significant strides over the past two decades, fostering and developing sustainability practices throughout their manufacturing network. Set during the summer of 2017, this case tracks their decision-making process during the development of a greenfield site in the city of Guilin in Guangxi Province, China. They named this greenfield site “Integral”, following the Buddhist concept of harmony between the natural and surrounding environment, the workplace and the workforce culture, and the pursuit of innovation, community, and excellence. The case explores the leadership and managerial crisis precipitated by technical problems discovered in the construction of the greenfield site. The company’s high standards and commitment to its 5E-Culture had clearly not translated to the ground operations at the project site, and Vice Chairman, Teresa Yang was tasked with guiding the project development through the crisis, and examining why the problems occurred in the first place.

Learning Objectives

Students will learn to analyze how company culture, the leaders’ vision, and the business strategy will influence requirements and scope of a project, and propose means to address issues on branding and corporate communication strategies of the company. They will also learn to develop risk management process, and approaches to translate company culture to its project implementation, in spite of the challenges it faces.

Company/Organization Esquel
Industry Corporate Social Responsibility - CSR, risk management, Sustainability, E-Culture, Outsourcing, Project Management, Crisis Management, Ethics
Major Discipline Operations Management
Subject(s) Culture, Crisis management, risk management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability Culture, Project Management, Ethical Leadership, Outsourcing, Vendor Management
Geography Asia, China, Hong Kong
Case Nature Field
Page count of the Case 15
Teaching Notes 14
Publisher HKUST
Last Revision Date 13.03.2019